Press Rel 9/2018

SUBJECT: Shortage of nurses and the new nursing curriculum
  23 October 2018

The South African Nursing Council (SANC) notes with concern the article published in the media recently and its factually incorrect information that has been disseminated to the public and the nursing fraternity.


The SANC would like to clarify the statements made in these articles, with these facts:

The curriculum submissions that the SANC has received so far, have been and continue to be evaluated and some have also served at meetings of internal structures of the SANC. These applications have been received from Universities, Public Colleges and private nursing schools. It is therefore factually incorrect that ”South Africa will soon have a shortage of nurses due to the dragging of feet/dawdling in approving a new curriculum”. The public and the profession is misled by such incorrect information.


The matter of “nurses will no longer be able to train at provincial training colleges”, is disputable. Factually, some Public Nursing Colleges have submitted their programmes to the SANC and the process of evaluation towards accreditation is underway.


The information provided stating that “there are only six other private institutions that are currently running private programmes” is factually incorrect. There is about sixty four (64) private institutions (including private hospital groups) that are currently offering nursing programmes in South Africa.


The following information in the articles is also incorrect: “The new act makes provision for a new category of nurse – a general nurse”.

The Act Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No 33 of 2005) makes provision for the following categories:

Professional Nurse
Staff nurse (general nurses
Auxiliary nurse OR
Auxiliary Midwife (There will be no qualifications for this category).


Nurse Specialist and Midwife Specialist categories were created through a board notice published by the Minister of Health in the Government Gazette No. 368 of 15 May 2014 – Notice regarding the creation of categories of practitioners in terms of section 31(2) of the Nursing Act, 2005.


Ms Sizeni Mchunu, CEO and Registrar of the SANC says: “It is regrettable that the public and the nursing fraternity have been misled and provided with factually incorrect information by persons who may not be well vested with these issues. Non-approval of submitted curriculums that do not comply with the minimum requirements does not constitute delays by the SANC.”



Issued by:

Mrs. Adri van Eeden
Senior Manager: Marketing and Communications
South African Nursing Council 
Tel:          012 426-9542


Official Spokesperson and person to be quoted:

Ms S Mchunu
Registrar and CEO: SA Nursing Council


For more information or to arrange for an interview with the Spokesperson, please contact Mrs. Adri van Eeden on Tel (012) 426-9542 or email: